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The Age of Exploration. The Quest for Cheaper Spices. The spice trade was controlled by the Muslims (remember, they were between Europe and Indonesia), so Europeans needed to find a way to “cut out the middleman” and bypass Muslim traders

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The quest for cheaper spices
The Quest for Cheaper Spices

  • The spice trade was controlled by the Muslims (remember, they were between Europe and Indonesia), so Europeans needed to find a way to “cut out the middleman” and bypass Muslim traders

  • Europeans (especially Spain and Portugal) began to explore Africa’s Atlantic coastline to see if they could go around Africa to reach Indonesia



What did they find in asia
What Did They Find in Asia?

  • A heavy trade network already existed between China, Southeast Asia, India, and East Africa

  • Cultures that were heavily dominated by Chinese and Indian influences

  • Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam were already strongly rooted in the area, little interest in Christianity


European successes in asia
European Successes in Asia

  • The Portuguese

    • 1511: Portugal captured the Strait of Malacca, giving them control of the spice trade

    • Focused on controlling ports so that ships could sail from Europe to Indonesia in short legs; they did not move inland to create colonies

  • The Dutch

    • Challenged the Portuguese spice monopoly; captured Strait of Malacca in 1641

    • The Dutch East India Company was formed by a group of wealthy investors to control the spice trade

  • The Spanish

    • 1521: Spain claimed the Philippines and quickly colonized and converted the natives to Catholicism


European failures in asia
European Failures in Asia

  • India: Mughal Dynasty was too strong for Europeans to conquer until the 1750s

  • China

    • China was so advanced that Europeans had little to offer in trade that they wanted; Chinese only wanted gold or silver

    • Strictly limited European access to China until well into the 1800s

  • Japan

    • At first, welcomed Europeans and traded heavily with them

    • The shoguns became suspicious of Europeans’ intentions, however, and banned them from Japan in 1638


Portuguese exploration
Portuguese Exploration

  • Portugal went east

    • 1415-1460: Prince Henry the Navigator sent ships to explore along African coast

    • 1488: Portuguese reached Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa

    • 1497: Vasco de Gama sailed around the Cape of Good Hope and reached India; trip to India took 10 months but returned a profit of 3000%

    • Beginning in 1502, Portuguese captured several port cities in Asia to use as trading outposts


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